A heartbreaking letter from a father to his gay son gives an extreme example of how anti-gay hatred can tear families apart.
The letter below was sent to James by his dad five years ago. He put the letter online yesterday and it quickly caught the attention of LGBT blogs, news websites and human rights organisations around the globe, including the Human Rights Commission and locally featuring on News.com.au.
“God did not intend for this unnatural lifestyle,” the letter reads. “Don’t expect any further communications from me. No connections at all.”
Five years on, James types on social media sharing website Reddit that he’s doing OK, but hasn’t spoken to has father since.
He recalls the weirdness of coming out to his dad. “In August of 2007, I finally built up the courage to tell my father I was gay. The moment I said it, the phone got quiet and he got off the phone after a few ‘Okay’s. I decided to give him time to process the news. About a week later, and not long before my birthday, I received the letter.”
Years later, James still sometimes reflects on the unjustness of it all. “I’ve never done drugs, was an excellent student, an obedient child (far less trouble than many of my classmates), didn’t drink until I was 22 because it terrified me, and have had just one speeding ticket in my life. Yet I am still seemingly deserving of this terrible act of hate and cowardice that one person can place on another.
“Five years on and I am still doing fine, though this letter saunters into my mind every once in a while. When it does, I say without hesitation: Fuck you, Dad.”